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Vans removed under fire code

William Paine/SWT
A van is towed away from the VuhVanagon LLC property on Route 11 (Lee Hwy.) in Pulaski Thursday to establish a fire lane around a former garage on the site.

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

and WILLIAM PAINE

Pulaski’s fire marshal and code enforcement officer had nearly a dozen vans towed from the VuhVanagon LLC property on Route 11 Thursday under authority of the fire code.

“We are enforcing the town code in relation to the fire code and required fire lanes,” Fire Marshal Todd Garwood said as vans were being hauled away from the property a little after 9 a.m. A total of 11 were removed.

Garwood explained that the fire code requires businesses to maintain 20 feet of clearance around their buildings to serve as a fire lane. He said having the fire lane obstructed not only puts emergency services at risk, but the public as well.

“A fire lane is for our access as well as egress. We’ve got to be able to get a truck through there and equipment through there; but also, if there are vehicles there, it hinders somebody getting away from the building,” the fire marshal added.

Carla Hodge, town code enforcement officer, also was present.

The vans were removed by 99 Car Care and are being stored on their property.

Garwood said any charges incurred as a result of the operation are the responsibility of VuhVanagon property owner Kevin Lindamood.

Typically, if a property owner fails to pay costs incurred by the town in bringing real estate into compliance with codes, a lien is attached to the real estate, preventing it from being sold until the lien is satisfied.

Representatives of Lindamood and VuhVanagon have been in court multiple times over the past year as a result of charges contending the business violates the town’s zoning ordinance.

In November 2019, Pulaski County General District Court Judge Erin DeHart convicted VuhVanagon of violating town land use regulations by storing vans on the property. At that time, town attorney Spencer Rygas indicated both sides entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for bringing the business into compliance.

Lindamood was given until Aug. 15 to comply; but he failed to do so even with a two-month extension, DeHart said.

VuhVanagon attorney Alicha Grubb immediately appealed the conviction to circuit court. The appeal has been repeatedly continued since February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new date is set for Nov. 18, 2021, at 1 p.m.

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